Prevalence of gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms in patients with COPD


Objective: To assess whether there is an increase in prevalence of gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and the influence of reflux on the respiratory symptoms of these patients. Methods: A case control study that was conducted at the outpatient clinic of Ibn Sina Teaching Hospital in Mosul, and two private clinics, during the years 2002-2003. Sixty six patients with COPD and 50 sex- and age- matched controls were questioned about experiencing GERD symptoms, utilizing a modified questionnaire originally developed by Mayo clinic. COPD patients were asked whether they noticed an association between experiencing reflux episodes and worsening respiratory symptoms, and whether smoking a cigarette is associated with GERD symptoms. Results: COPD patients showed a significantly increased prevalence of GERD symptoms as compared with the control group (29(43.9%)vs. 11(22%), respectively), (p=0.014). COPD patients more frequently reported significant heartburn (43.9%vs. 20%; p=0.007), and regurgitation (25.8%vs. 6%; p=0.005).COPD patients who were still smoking were not statistically significant from those who have stopped smoking regarding experiencing GERD symptoms (46.7%vs. 30.8%; p=0.08). Fifty one percent (51.7%) of COPD patients noticed that their respiratory symptoms are worsened during episodes of heartburn or regurgitation. Conclusion: GER symptoms are more prevalent in patients with COPD, compared to control subjects.Keywords: COPD, gastro-oesophagael reflux disease.